Wednesday, January 2, 2008

FAQ, Part 1 (Editorials)

Here's the first entry in what will be a series of posts on the most frequently asked questions about the Freeman.

Who writes the editorials?

The quick answer is, it doesn't matter. Here's why.

A newspaper's editorial policies typically are generated by an editorial board. Larger papers have many members on the board, and they meet frequently to discuss issues and take positions. Smaller papers may have no board; instead, the editor pretty much does it all. The Freeman lands in between in terms of the formality of the process.

There are four of us on our editorial board: Managing Editor Sam Daleo, Assistant Managing Editor Tony Adamis, Political Editor Hugh Reynolds and me. Once an editorial position is established, one of us will do the writing. To attach a name to the editorial, however, would suggest to readers that it is solely the opinion of that writer. That's not the case.

To take it a step beyond, within the newspaper business, the editorial page is sometimes called "the publisher's page," because that's supposed to be the only place in the paper where an institutional opinion is expressed. But the publisher -- here and at most places -- only rarely writes an editorial, although he/she obviously can overrule the editorial board, if he/she chooses.

For the record, I almost always agree with our editorials, some more enthusiastically than others. On those with which I am less excited, I OK publication because others on our board who are better informed on a particular subject have convinced me of their point of view.
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